Wednesday, Dec 07, 2016
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Garden 'holiday' spurs night moves

Garden-holiday-spurs-night-moves

Emily Hoen, 18, and her mother, Toni Hoen, harvesting zucchini on their Fulton County farm, agree with the idea of a holiday aimed at spreading surplus squash.

Diane Hires / Blade Enlarge

Attention, green-thumb garden guerrillas. It's time to gear up for massive midnight maneuvers.

Grab the camouflage, pick up the peck baskets, and raise a salute to surplus squash. Tomorrow marks the much-awaited (for some), little-known (for others) national holiday: Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbors' Porch Day.

Who knew?

"Never heard of it," said Toni Hoen. "Well," she said, "it is the perfect time for it."

Mrs. Hoen and three other family members, including her husband Mike, are picking about 35 half-bushels of zucchini every other day. Not to plunk on porches. They sell it. Hoen's Orchard and Farm in Fulton County, then, would be considered professional producers.

Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbors' Porch Day is celebrated, we would guess, by rank amateurs - backyard gardeners who bite off more than they can chew. Those who lack a steady market for what has been called, aptly so, "the dreaded green gourd of the garden."

It's not as though it's a bad thing. It's just that there is so much of it.

Land's sake. What other produce crops up in more recipes than this flexible food?

Pickles, relish, jam, chutney. Bread, cookies, muffins. Pizza and pies. Casseroles. Nachos.

OK, sure. The zucchini is disguised. People slather it with cheese; coat it with chocolate, pass it off as apples.

"I had that once," said Mrs. Hoen when asked about zucchini cobbler as she stopped her pickup truck next to a field of bright green plants. "My girlfriend made that one time. It tasted like mock-apple pie." Turns out, the girlfriend obtained the main ingredient from Mrs. Hoen, who had some surplus bat-sized zucchini.

And this takes us back to the holiday at hand. It, indeed, is prime picking season for the summertime squash, and unless you have time to tend your garden regularly - say, every 7 minutes or so on a sunny day - the overzealous zucchini plants are going to "get away from you." That's the official farm phrase for when things get out of control.

And, the zucchini? Fat chance. They never get away from you - unless you Sneak Some Onto Your Neighbor's Porch.

Tomorrow's event actually is one of about 70 oddball "holidays" created and copyrighted by Thomas and Ruth Roy under the name of Wellcat Holidays.

If neighbors don't take too kindly to great green gobs of gifts from the garden, lay low and wait a few days: Aug. 13 is Blame Someone Else Day.

Contact Janet Romaker at:

jromaker@theblade.com

or 419-724-6006.

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